Microsoft and Nokia have teamed up in a bid to "greatly enhance the mobile phone as a personal music device" by making it easier for digital music fans to transfer tracks between mobile handsets and Windows PCs.
The two companies have agreed a "long-term" collaboration on extended digital media format support for Windows Media Audio, Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) 10 and Media Transfer Protocol on music-oriented Nokia handsets.
The deal also includes support for Open Mobile Alliance DRM and the Mpeg Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) family of codecs in Windows Media Player via a plug-in.
According to the firms, the alliance will ensure easy device connection and content flow between Nokia handsets and Windows XP-based PCs.
By supporting Media Transfer Protocol, Nokia claimed that it is offering users simple and easy synchronisation with their phones when transferring music to and from Windows XP-based PCs using Windows Media Player.
The agreement also aims to make it easier for subscribers of the newly launched mobile music service from Nokia and Loudeye, which is based on the Open Mobile Alliance DRM and Mpeg AAC standards, to access and purchase content through either Nokia handsets or Windows XP-based PCs.
"This agreement makes it easier for consumers to download music without having to worry about whether or not the file format is supported. It's all about enabling choice without compromising compatibility," said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager at Nokia's Multimedia Business Group.
Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft, added: "Microsoft and Nokia recognise that interoperability and ease of use are crucial to delivering a seamless consumer experience and enabling digital music to be enjoyed on the move."
Microsoft and Nokia have already announced a partnership to enable synchronisation between Microsoft Exchange Server and future Nokia enterprise mobile devices.
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